Honorifics are inherently sexist when you consider women have separate titles to denote if they are married or not.
Sexism is prevalent and widespread only because we're conditioned from an early age to accept existing sexist practices and gender roles. A kid who spotted such a pattern and called out the obvious sexism is going viral on the internet. Titles and honorifics specific to gender are already considered outdated, especially considering women have a separate one denoting if they are married or not, while men have no such differentiation and are uniformly addressed as Mr. It is still considered an integral part of the English language and is taught in schools.
Honorifics often change with the accomplishments of a person. So for example, someone who might simply be called Mr. Smith would be referred to as Dr. Smith, if they have obtained a doctorate. With time, more and more people prefer to be addressed without honorifics. In the case of women, many prefer Ms. to be used so they aren't defined by their marriage status.
My 8 yo with the worksheet mic drop. #thekidsarealright pic.twitter.com/uivfxn89eK— Stephanie parks taylor (@StephptaylorCLT) February 18, 2022
When a school posed a sexist question to an eight-year-old, he wasn't having it. Stephanie Taylor, the boy's mother shared a photo of the question and highlighted how her son had flipped the question. The question showed three women figures. The first one named Sarah is labeled "under the age of 18," the second woman named Mary can be seen holding a sign reading: "unmarried or unknown marital status" and in the case of the third woman, the focus is on a ring on her finger, trying to imply that she's "married or divorced." With illustrations of the three women provided, the question goes: "Is Lara a Miss, Ms., or Mrs.?"
It is pretty obvious that the question is angling for "Mrs." but the eight-year-old wrote: "I think she's a Dr." The boy didn't define Lara by her marital status and her mother proudly shared the image, writing, "My 8-yo with the worksheet mic drop." She then added the hashtag: #thekidsarealright. The tweet went viral garnering 60k likes. Twitter users were horrified that such material was still being taught in school while many others praised Stephanie Taylor for raising her child right. "I love this so much. Reminds me of when we were young and my mom said her “boss” was coming to dinner. A couple pulled up and got out of the car and my sister and I asked, 'which one is your boss?' 🙋♀️💪❤️" wrote one person.
A majority slammed the practice of defining women by their marital status. "What in the holy hell is this????? Please tell me you’re 80 and your 8-year-old was born in 1960???? Because if this is contemporary I’d be storming into that school," wrote one person. Another person commented, "Why are these titles still accepted??? Men get Mr. for ALL men. Why does a woman’s marital status/ age have to precede our name??? These gotta go." One person wrote, "First, I love Dr., Second, why are we still teaching children different forms of address for women based on marital status? It's Ms. I remember women fighting for it in the 70s. Honor those women." Many couldn't believe that such practices were still being taught in school. "I’ve always used Ms. Men don’t have to declare marital status, why should women? In the 1980s, I got into a huge row with my local council because ‘their computer would only accept ‘Miss or Mrs’. I stuck with Ms, suggesting they update their computer, a year later, they did!" One person pointed out that was only the case for Indo-European languages. "I have always wondered why a woman’s title is determined by whether she has/had a husband while it makes no difference for a man. That seems to be the case for many Indo-European languages. Turkish, for example, doesn’t do that," they wrote.